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Boris Verlinsky vs David Bronstein
Ch URS (1/2 final) (1945), Moscow URS, rd 1
Zukertort Opening: Nimzo-Larsen Variation (A04)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
May-15-06  paladin at large: 37......Rxd3 would have been better for Bronstein, no? If 38. Rxd3 Rxd3, the queen cannot retake on d3 on account of mate on g2. If 38. Rxf3 Rd1+ followed by R(8) d2, winning the queen. What am I missing?
May-15-06  Runemaster: If 37...Rxd3 38.Rxf3 Rd1+ 39.Rf1 R8d2, the White queen can now go to f5, or White can play 40.Qxd1 or 40.Rxd1, coming out with two rooks and knight against queen.
May-15-06  paladin at large: If white plays 40. Qxf5, Qxd1 or Rxd1 there is mate on g2. I believe the following also works for black - If 37......Rxd3 38. Rxf3 Rd1+ 39. Rf1 R1d2 40. Qxd2 Rxd2 or 40. Rf2 Rx c2 and Black comes out with queen and rook and an active position vs. two rooks and knight. White can force off rooks but Black still has the upper hand with Queen vs rook and knight and the white h-pawn falling.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: < paladin at large: 37......Rxd3 would have been better for Bronstein, no? If 38. Rxd3 Rxd3, the queen cannot retake on d3 on account of mate on g2. ...> 37...Rxd3 38.Rxd3 Rxd3 39.Rxf3... surrenders the piece to White. (You saw the moves, but missed the right sequence of exchanges.)

Also note that 37...Rxd3 38.Rxd3 Qxg2+ 39.Qxg2 Bxg2 40.Rxd8+... drops serious material as well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: A lively game! Not often was Bronstein this outplayed in tactics.
May-15-06  Petrocephalon: Presumably white would still have gotten an advantage from winning the exchange with 23.Bxf8? Although I think I see why 23.Bh6 is better.
May-15-06  paladin at large: So it was <Gypsy>, thanks.
May-21-06  Petrocephalon: Any explanation for not playing 23.Bxf8? Gypsy? Anyone else?
May-22-06  Petrocephalon: anyone?
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <Any explanation for not playing 23.Bxf8?> 23 Bh6 does have the advantage of threatening Qg7# :-)

But a more probable reason for declining the exchange is that 23 Bxf8 Rxf8 would eliminate White's most active piece.

Computer analysis shows it is quite safe, but it would not be easy over the board to activate all of White's pieces without allowing counterplay on light squares.

May-22-06  Petrocephalon: Thanks Tamar.

Yeah, I can basically understand it. By declining the exchange, white is very strong on the dark squares. By accepting the exchange, white would be left with passive rooks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Any explanation for not playing 23.Bxf8?> I'd say that came of intutive and dynamic considerations: The bishop collects a pawn, instead of an x-change, but also lives to fight another day. In fact, at this stage of the game, the bishop is arguably stronger than the f8-rook.

Verlinsky was a player with a strong sense of initiative and those guys do not like cash in their initiative for a measly x-change or a pawn. Sometimes they pay for it by seeing their initiative dissipate with nothing material to show for it in the end, but most often they tend to be right and they collect material an route, while their initiative remains or grows.

May-22-06  Petrocephalon: Thanks Gypsy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: It seems to be that Bronstein overestimated his position when he played 37...Bb7 and 38...Rxd3. Why not simply 37...Bxg2 38.Qxg2 Qxg2+ 39.Kxg2 Rxd3?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Why not simply 37...Bxg2 38.Qxg2 Qxg2+ 39.Kxg2 Rxd3?> Don't know. The endgame looks nice for Black: <40.R1c1> seems more less forced and <40...Rd2+> would give White a big headache. (Also 40...Rxc3 41.Rxc3 Rd2+ ...looks very good, but keeping the second rook around looks significantly stronger.)
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